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Casualties as explosion hits Syria's coastal regime stronghold of Latakia Open in fullscreen

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Casualties as explosion hits Syria's coastal regime stronghold of Latakia

The coastal city of Latakia has been a regime stronghold since the conflict began [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 January, 2019

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The blast came two days after an explosion struck the capital Damascus in which state media said there were no casualties.

An explosion has occurred at an intersection in the coastal city of Latakia, killing at least one, state media said.

Syrian state TV said Tuesday's blast was a car bomb that went off in Al-Hammam Square in Latakia that has been a government stronghold since the conflict began in March 2011.

The station did not give a breakdown for the casualties in the area, which his usually crowded with people, but the blast killed the driver and injured several other people.

The blast came two days after an explosion struck the capital Damascus in which state media said there were no casualties.

The rare explosions come at a time when government forces have been scoring victories against rebels in different parts of the country.

Syria is locked in a civil war that has killed more than 360,000 people by official counts suspended in 2014, and much more by unofficial counts, and displaced millions since a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests in 2011 spiralled into full conflict. 

With key military backing from Russia, President Bashar al-Assad's forces have retaken large parts of Syria from rebels and jihadists, and now control almost two-thirds of the country.

The Syrian regime in May reclaimed a final scrap of territory held by the Islamic State group in southern Damascus, cementing total control over the capital for the first time in six years.

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